Paris attacks ‘directed by one man in Belgium’


From the French edition of The Local

The three teams who carried out attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis on November 13th were co-ordinated from Belgium by at least one person, investigations show.

It had already been clear that the three groups of terrorists – who targeted the Bataclan concert hall, the Stade de France, and terraces of cafes and bars – had been in contact with each other on the evening of November 13th, but the investigation shows that they had also been in contact with at least one person in Belgium.

French daily newspaper Le Monde has had access to 6,000 minutes of the investigation into the attacks and revealed on Wednesday that the terrorists had apparently been overseen by an associate in Belgium. The attackers who shot at cafe and bar terraces, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, were in contact with a Belgian phoneline on the evening of November 13th.

A separate Belgian phone number was contacted by the Bataclan bombers, however both lines were located in the same place during the night of the attacks, leading police to think that at least one person oversaw the attacks.

A Samsung mobile phone, found in a trash can near the Bataclan and bearing the DNA of two of the bombers, has played an important part in the investigation. At 9:42pm, two minutes after shooters arrived at the concert hall, a text message was sent from the phone to a Belgium number saying: “We’ve left, we’re starting.” 

Le Monde’s report says that the phoneline was “opened on behalf of Salah Abdeslam” and “active from November 12th at 22:24”. The line was disabled immediately after the text message was received.

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